Saturday, May 7, 2011

ESL Lesson: Common Expression 1

Choose the right expression.

_____________ the floor manager, we don’t need to work this Friday afternoon.
A. According
B. According of
C. According from
D. According to

Please scroll down for the answer after answering it on your own.

Choice D is the right answer.
According to the floor manager, we don’t need to work this Friday afternoon.

This is a question from a TOEFL exercise. It’s a useless waste of time to try to rationalize why this is the right choice. For fluent English speakers and proficient English writers, we just immediately know the correct one because we’ve seen it 1000 times. We don't pause for two minutes trying to rationalize why we choose the words "according to". The best way for you to learn this is to see it 1000 times. Okay, that maybe an exaggeration. Here are seven examples of professional writers using “according to”.

“Soccer star David Beckham was involved in a car crash on the 405 Freeway Friday morning in Torrance, according to the California Highway Patrol.” - Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times

According to an American official familiar with his interrogation, Mr. Mohammed was first asked about Mr. Kuwaiti in the fall of 2003, months after the waterboarding.” - Scott Shane, New York times

According to a recent report in the Toledo Blade, a billboard in Michigan between Detroit and Ann Arbor on I-94, clad in a scarlet background with bold white letters, takes a jab at Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and his familiar sweater vests.” - ESPN

According to a senior military official, the body was washed, shrouded and dispatched with a funeral prayer.” - Leor Halevi, Contributing Writer to the New York Times

“They were dropped by mini-parachutes from rockets that open during flight, according to the New York Times.” - BBC News

“The Memphis river gauge was at 47.12 feet at 2 pm local time, according to the National Weather Service.” - Brian K. Sullivan, Bloomberg

“Women under 50 should decide whether or not to start having mammograms after having discussions with their physicians about their specific risk factors, according to a U.S. health task force.” - U.S.A. Today

Note: I recommend you print and/or save this lesson in a folder. Review it once tomorrow, once next week, once next month, and once in six months. If you do so, the correct use of this expression will be solidified into your brain.

For other academic lessons, feel free to go to:

Copyright: © 2011. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at and

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